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TheStreet Open House

Who Could Take the Reins From Jamie Dimon?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jamie Dimon, the current chairman, president, and CEO of JPMorgan Chase (JPM), was diagnosed with a treatable form of throat cancer. Dimon will cut down on his travelling as a result of the diagnosis, however he plans to remain in his position at JPMorgan.

"The prognosis from my doctors is excellent, the cancer was caught quickly, and my condition is curable," Dimon wrote to his employees on July 1.

However, in the unlikely event of his stepping down, who would take the reins?

Matt Zames, chief operating officer at JPMorgan, and Daniel Pinto, chief executive officer of corporate investment banking would be both be likely candidates after their cleanup of the bank's Chief Investment Office unit. Both Zames and Pinto will also likely have a busy summer providing reinforcement to Dimon even if he is able to guide the nation's largest bank by assets during his eight-week treatment regimen.

Keefe Bruyette & Woods analyst Chris Mutascio names Zames as a possible longer-term successor to Dimon. If JPMorgan was forced to name an interim or full-time successor to Dimon in the near-term, Mutascio said in a client note Pinto, Gordon Smith, head of JPMorgan's consumer banking, and Doug Petno, CEO of JPMorgan's commercial bank at since 2012, would be the most likely candidates.

Some other stand-in candidates or possible successors have recently left JPMorgan, possibly limiting the firm's options. Mike Cavanaugh, seen on Wall Street as an executive that was being groomed to eventually replace Dimon, left the firm recently for the private equity giant, Carlyle Group (CG). Former top executives such as Jes Staley, Frank Bisignano, Charlie Scharf and Heidi Miller were also potential candidates before their recent departures.

Perhaps, JPMorgan might look outside for Dimon's replacement if the need ever arose? Some JPMorgan watchers say that's not likely.

Richard Bove of Rafferty Capital Markets on the possibility of an outside hire:

"I don't think there is any likelihood whatsoever that Dimon's replacement would come from outside the firm. It would be seen as a sign of significant failure." 

Still, in any talk of succession, it's worth considering all the options. In the following pages, TheStreet outlines five outside candidates JPMorgan might want to consider.

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